Cosmetology Resume Sample, Template, Writing Guide & Skills for 2024

As a cosmetologist, you want to make others look their best.

Nothing makes you happier than a client saying, “Wow, is that me? I look so glamorous!”

You’re vibrant and alive with creativity and anticipation when someone asks for a makeover.

When it comes to resume writing, though, you feel deflated and clueless.

How do you capture your skills and enthusiasm on paper to win the perfect cosmetology job?

Crafting a cosmetology resume is much like meeting a new client.

You listen carefully to what they’re looking for and then tell them how you’ll do it.

If someone wants a haircut, you’re not going to start telling them about a manicure, are you?

Not likely; they’ll just turn around and leave.

Well, it’s the same with your cosmetologist resume.

You carefully note what’s required from the job post and then put your matching skills in a resume.

This article contains writing tips, resume samples, and section examples that are easy to follow.

Let’s see how it’s done.

Cosmetology Resume Example

These cosmetologist resume examples include a cosmetology student resume, mid-career and senior level cosmetologist.

Student Sample Cosmetology Resume

Cosmetology Resume Example

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Petra selected our Stanford resume template in fashionable pink. See how she highlights her education above work experience.

Intermediate Cosmetology Resume Example

Cosmetology Resume Example

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Emily’s chosen a sophisticated black-and-white version of our Auckland resume template.

Senior Resume Examples for Cosmetologist

Cosmetology Resume Example

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Ray chose the trendy red version of our Cambridge resume template. Note how work experience takes precedence over other info.

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How to Write a Good Resume for Cosmetologist in 2024: Full Guide to Cosmetologist Resumes

As a qualified cosmetologist, you have many career options.

You can work in a salon, barbershop, spa, resort, hotel, on a cruise ship or as a freelancer.

With so many opportunities, your cosmetology resume must be specifically targeted to each role you apply for. A long-winded, generic cosmetologist resume won’t do.

How come?

Hiring trends have evolved. Where recruiters previously scanned resumes looking for critical info, AI has stepped in.

Today, an applicant tracking system or ATS is the first port of call for your cosmetology resume skills.

Hiring managers compile the job description and pass it to recruiters, highlighting vital job skills. In turn, recruiters load the job ad to portals, social media and websites, flagging essential requirements as keywords.

As job seekers apply, their resumes are immediately scanned by parsing software in ATS for flagged keywords.

If a resume meets the minimum prescribed keyword quota, it goes into a recruiter’s applicant folder. Resumes below the minimum keyword percentage get binned without anyone seeing them.

Scary stuff if you don’t know about ATS. Being forewarned, though, means you can give them what they want, making your job search a breeze.

The first secret to success is knowing to whom you pitch your skills.

For example, if you’re applying to a small salon, the owner will likely review the applications. On the other hand, a hotel looking for cosmetology staff will have a hiring team.

Owners know exactly what they want. They won’t waste their time on cosmetologist skills for resume that doesn’t meet their expectations.

Conversely, a hiring team uses a recruiter to scan cosmetology skills for resume. Only cosmetologist job description resume that hit the mark are passed on to the hiring manager.

Each of these potential employers has a different target market. You must convince them you’ve got the cosmetology skills to make their business a success and keep clients coming back.

How do you do that?

By identifying the keywords matching your skills and work experience and putting them in your skills for cosmetology resume.

What if you’re entry-level and lack experience?

You follow the same process with a resume for cosmetology student.

Instead of focusing on work history, a cosmetology student resume emphasizes education and training.

Cosmetology resumes follow a reverse chronological order, meaning you start with your most job and continue in descending order.

While each employer uses its own wording, some keywords are relatively common.

Here are some typical keywords you’ll find in cosmetologist job posts –

  • Barbering
  • Beauty industry
  • Communication skills
  • Consultations
  • Facials
  • Hair care
  • Hair coloring
  • Hair removal
  • Hair styling
  • Hair stylist
  • Haircuts
  • Makeover
  • Makeup application
  • Makeup artist
  • Manicures
  • Pedicures
  • Skin care
  • Style hair
  • Waxing

So, let’s move on to individual sections…

Personal Information

A cosmetologist resume needs a personal info section that’s well-placed and easy to read.

Also known as a header, it sits at the top of your resume and includes your name, address and contact details.

A word of caution –

Since the information is so simple, it’s a section where typos are common.

Transposed letters or numbers could mean you’re unreachable.

If you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile or other work-related social media accounts, include them here too.

Always double-check this section before sharing.

Personal Information Example

Personal Information Example

Personal info must be clear and easy to read.

How to Format this Section

Accurately note your full name, address, phone number, email address and job-related social media accounts if you have any.

Don’t add any other info because it’s unnecessary.

Make it reader-friendly, keep it well-spaced and use a business font.

Resume Objective and Resume Summary Statement

A resume objective for cosmetologist or a resume summary statement is a snapshot opener.

Placed high up on your resume, it’s a summary of your relevant qualifications, work experience and achievements.

An objective for cosmetology resume is used when you have less than two or three years of working experience.

More experienced cosmetologists will opt for a resume summary statement.

The difference?

A summary statement discusses your years of experience, skills and achievements in line with the job advertisement.

In contrast, a cosmetologist resume objective focuses more on your training and career aspirations.

Both must be limited to no more than about 80 words, including keywords from the post.

Pay close attention to writing this section. It’s the first thing readers see, meaning it’s where you make your first impression; it must be good.

Resume Objective for a Beginner Cosmetology Resume

Resume Objective for a Beginner Cosmetology Resume

This job seeker uses personality, skills and ambitions to draw readers in.

Summary Statement for an Experienced Cosmetologist Resume

Summary Statement for an Experienced Cosmetologist Resume

Proven work experience and achievements entice recruiters in this summary.

How to Format this Section

Ensure it’s compelling and aligns with the stated needs of the potential employer.

By indicating you’ve got what it takes to get the job done, they’ll likely carry on reading. That’s how you win interviews.

Feature your value with positive action verbs, well-placed keywords and quantifiable numbers. However, only stay relevant to the job you’re applying for, even if you have lots of other experience in cosmetology.

Does my Resume Need a Cover Letter?

It depends!

If the job ad states explicitly that a cover letter must be included, the yes go ahead.

Also, if applying directly to an employer without responding to a vacancy, a cover letter helps as an introduction.

A cover letter is a one-pager used to motivate a job application.

But, all the details can confuse ATS, causing your application to get rejected.

Including a cover letter with every application can cost you opportunities.

Professional Work Experience

This is one of the main sections to align your work experience with the job description for the role.

Writing a targeted cosmetologist resume shows hiring managers you understand the role and are confident you can do the job.

You already have the hiring manager’s attention by illustrating you know their cosmetologist needs and how to fulfil them.

All that’s left is to list the right keywords appropriately to keep them engaged with your cosmetology resume.

Nevertheless, before you get anyone’s attention, you must get past the ATS and their keyword hunt.

Let them move your resume straight to the recruiter’s shortlist by mirroring the keywords that match your experience. Try to keep them in the same order of importance too.

Avoid including experience and skills not mentioned; ATS won’t pick them up, and your keyword count could be affected.

Work Experience Example

Work Experience Example

Keywords are skillfully woven into the job description.

How to Format this Section

Make this section easy to navigate and read.

Stick to a reverse chronological resume format.

Use bullet points and a clear business font here with lots of white space.

Each job responsibility must fit into a single bullet point.

In larger establishments, various people will likely go through your cosmetology resume. It’s easier to share and comment on if your resume is clear and well-spaced.

Finally, use the same job title and order as the job post.

Education, Training and Certifications

Cosmetologists need a high school diploma and training at a state-licensed cosmetology school.

Individual courses take about a year or slightly longer, and most cosmetologists complete several modules.

Each course comes with mandatory hands-on training hours that must be completed to qualify.

Finally, students must complete the state licensing exam before practising in the beauty industry.

In all, it takes four to five years to practice as a licensed cosmetologist.

Some entry-level students choose to work while studying part-time, in which case it takes longer to become certified.

Keeping abreast with current trends and innovations is essential to building clientele and career success. Ongoing short courses, refreshers and new certifications will increase your earning power as you grow a loyal client base.

The education section is more critical in resumes for cosmetology students. As you gain years of experience, it matters less.

Education, Training and Certifications Example

Education, Training and Certifications Example

Always separate formal education, courses and certifications.

How to Format this Section

The education section must be easy to read and accurate without unnecessary info.

No matter how many qualifications and certifications you have, only mention those in the job ad.

If you have a few that are relevant, begin with the most recent and continue in descending order.

List the institution, qualification and dates, and your state license details.

Cosmetology Resume Skills

The skills section must be a palette of hard skills and soft skills drawn from keywords.

ATS, recruiters and hiring managers head straight to your cosmetologist skills for resume to see if you match their needs.

Hard skills are what you were taught during your training or what you picked up on the job.

Equally, soft skills are expressed from personality traits acquired during our lives.

For example, hair styling is a hard skill, whereas communication and service orientation are soft skills.

Once again, only include cosmetology skills for resume that are mentioned, irrespective of how many more you have.

Cosmetology Resume Skills Example

Cosmetology Resume Skills Example

Rating cosmetology resume skills lets readers measure your proficiency at a glance.

How to Format this Section

Skills must be easily identifiable, well-spaced and mirror the job post.

Rating each skill makes it easy for readers to assess the depth of your experience.


Close your cosmetologist resume with references.

One or two is all you need, and you can opt not to provide any.

If you make that decision, note that references are available on request.

Tipping referees off to expect a reference call is always a good idea. That way, they’re not caught off guard, and you’re assured they’re available.

References Example

References Example

Ensure the details provided are correct.

How to Format this Section

No fancy handiwork is required here; list only the referee’s name, phone number and email address.

Related Resume Templates

With the help of a resume builder, you can craft the perfect resume using our free cosmetologist resume templates.

However, if cosmetology resume templates aren’t what you want, how about these?

Final Points on Successful Resumes for Cosmetologists

Let’s run down the essentials once more -

  • Target each job individually
  • Extract keywords from each job post
  • Take time to go through your work history
  • Match your skills with the job post
  • Select the correct type of resume template for the job
  • Stay with a one to two-page resume
  • Use professional but easy-to-read wording
  • Use action verbs and positive language to keep it engaging
  • Rope in a resume builder to write your best resume
  • Submit your professional resume in pdf format

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